A Disturbing Trend (Reason's young adults are leaving the church...)

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by calebreedgordon, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. calebreedgordon

    calebreedgordon
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    I just read this article on why young people (adults) are leaving the church...this is what Barna says some of the reason are...very disturbing these are people who are claiming to be "Christian" What do you think is the answer?

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    Barna’s report on why young Christians leave church found no one single reason to blame for their departure. Instead, six reasons, or “themes,” surfaced.

    The first reason cited is that “churches seem overprotective.” The report notes that today’s teens and young adults (ages 18–29) have unprecedented access to worldviews and ideas. “As Christians, they express the desire for their faith in Christ to connect to the world they live in,” the report states. “However, much of their experience in Christianity feels stifling, fear-based and risk-averse.” One quarter of the respondents said that Christians “demonize everything outside the church,” while others said the church ignores the problems of the world (22 percent) and is too concerned that movies, video games, and music are harmful (18 percent).

    The next theme that emerged was that young Christians have only a “shallow” experience of faith. When young Christians leave the church, 31 percent said they left because church was “boring,” the report indicated. Other reasons: The Bible is “not taught clearly or often enough” (23 percent); and 20 percent indicated that God seemed to be missing from their church experience.

    The tension between Christianity and science was the third reason cited, with 35 percent of those surveyed agreeing with the statement “Christians are too confident they know all the answers.” Nearly three out of ten young adults (29 percent) said that “churches are out of step with the scientific world we live in,” while 23 percent said they were “turned off” by the whole Creation-versus-evolution debate.

    The fourth reason listed has to do with sex—or rather, how to live meaningful lives in terms of sex and sexuality. While research shows that most young Christians are just as sexually active as non-Christians, this group struggles with how to live up to the church’s expectations of chastity and sexual purity in a culture that does not seem to value the sacredness of sexuality.

    In John 14:6, Jesus is quoted as saying, “No one comes to the Father except through me.” This “exclusivity” claim is reason number five for young Christians, who said that churches are afraid of the beliefs of other faiths (29 percent). The same number of respondents said that churches force them to choose between their faith and their friends.

    The last of the six reasons cited was that young Christians feel church is not a place where one can express doubt. “They do not feel safe admitting that sometimes Christianity does not make sense,” the report said. As a result, one in three respondents to the survey said that the churchis not a place where they could ask their “most pressing life questions,” nor is it a place where they could express doubt about their faith (23 percent). A significant number—18 percent—said that their experience of faith “does not help with depression or other emotional problems.”
     
  2. preachinjesus

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    I've read this and think its a mixed bag.

    1. The fourth reason is more important than most churches can imagine. Honestly now, when was the last time you heard a good, authentic, honest, biblical engagement on God's view of s3x in terms a 20-30something would connect with. We don't talk about it properly or completely and we don't offer grace in the midst of failure enough.

    2. Once you shake out the marginal church goers who disappear into the party/hook up college scene as well as the kids who were never really connected to begin with, there are a lot of young adults attending churches. They're attendance looks different (1-2 times a month and little connection beyond that) and they aren't going back to smaller, traditional churches. Rather they are attending large, progressive worship churches en masse.

    3. We are 100% too shallow in our churches.

    4. We haven't, and don't, equip believers with the tools to deal with failure. It is a sad truth.

    I don't the outlook is as dim as some believe. That said we need to see that connecting with 20somethings now will benefit the church for generations.
     
  3. mandym

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    The whole problem is a lack of true discipleship. Polls by Barna or anyone else do not tell the whole story.
     
  4. HAMel

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    Way too many Church Leaders are stuck like glue to the party line as administered by whichever Bible College they attended. Some College Professors can be very shallow.
     
  5. Jkdbuck76

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    I stopped regularly attending church when I was in high school.

    I didn't start up again until I was married and 25 years old.
    I was backslidden and living in ways I shall not mention here.

    I had two people in my life that witnessed to me. One was the owner of a gym who asked me how my relationship with the Lord was and asked if he could pray for me. The second was my martial arts instructor who told me that our marriage would not last unless we sought Christ and found a place of worship (talk about BOLDNESS).

    Things didn't "click" for me until I heard a preacher on radio say that the eternal hope of Christians is NOT making planet earth a better place but said hope was eternal life with Christ Jesus in heaven. For some reason, that cut thru all the MUCK in my head and I think I really understood salvation. So thank God from drive time preachers on the AM dial!!

    Edit: I'm almost 35 now. My point: the older Christians have to seek out the backsliders.
     
  6. govteach51

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    When your pastor preaches basically the same sermon for the last 3 Sundays in a row, you wonder. ( He was on the Mormons and encouraging child discipline. Bit odd together.) It is not just my church, my Mother goes to another Baptist church about 18 miles away and she is disappointed in the sermons, and we both have visited other churches, with no relief in the immediate area....so it's not just hurting 20-somethings, I know people my age and older who have quit going because they see no point in attending...(Many are having home church/devotion at the home on Sundays.)

    My pastor, while a super nice likable guy, just doesn't have the background. No seminary, he did attend East Texas Baptist Univ. and I really do not know what they teach pastoral majors there. ( Maybe someone on here can help me with what is taught at ETBU.)
    BTW: I am not saying education is the be all, end all, I had a pastor who quit school at age 12 and worked on the farm until God called him into the ministry and he had thought provoking sermons like you would not believe.
    Anyway, since he replaced the pastor we joined under I have been disappointed.
    I don't know what the answer is...:tear:
     
  7. J.D.

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    1. The majority of church yunguns lack a genuine new birth, so most of them are going to leave the church eventually anyway.
    2. Even among those that have been born again, a well-developed Christian World View is lacking.
     
  8. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    I think this is correct, and supported by the poll. Their six "themes" all reflect that. They are all tied together.

    1. The overprotective bubble of church is based in fear and ignorance. A lack of biblical knowledge makes them afraid of the world around them and comes back to poor teaching.

    2. The shallow experience of faith comes from a lack of interaction with the lost world, instead of engaging our enemy they are hiding on the sidelines ignorant and afraid.

    3. The tension between Faith and Science is also based in ignorance and lack of understanding, biblical and scientific. Understood properly science will always support the Bible, but too many ignorant Christians would rather cover their ears and not hear, than do the work of study.

    4. Sex is simply ignored by most Churches, again because they are afraid and ignorant. The bible has plenty to say about sex and redemption. Very few biblical characters were celibate. But it is easier to cover your eyes and pretend not to see than face those tough subjects.

    5. The exclusivity of Christ is NOT an exclusivity of any individual church or denomination. Teaching the differences and learning what the word of God really says is the key here. Many pastors will not teach on these things because they are insecure and afraid they will lead members to leave their church.

    6. Afraid to admit their doubts and fears is again tied to ignorance. Everyone doubts and any pastor who tells you otherwise is a liar. If you have never doubted then you have never been tried. Church should be a safe place to express our doubts and our failures, but to many times it is a place to lay blame and judge others less "spiritual" than we are.

    All six of these "themes" tell the same story to me, a lack of real biblical teaching and discipleship results in weak, ineffective Christians who are easily lead astray.
     
  9. Tater77

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    The list pretty much nails it. I could relate to every reason as to why I ran as fast as I could from Church as a teen and early 20 something.
     
  10. govteach51

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    #4-So very true, sex is so much in our faces now, yet it is avoided.....The Song of Solomon is about as racy as you can get, and it's about a wife of Solomon.....I may get in trouble here, but I really believe God wants married people to enjoy one another.
     
  11. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
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    Having been married for 33 years, I say, "AMEN"!:smilewinkgrin:
     
  12. gb93433

    gb93433
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    I find that so many in the pew are very lazy. They are selfish and want what they want just like the world. Very few in the pew have been in the military or played sports. So there is a serious lack of discipline. When I taught at the university I had many students say I was hard but my daughter said that college is easier than high school. It is amazing when a teacher requires a lot of hard work then their parents start complaining.

    Years ago when I taught at the high school my students had won every competition except one and I still had parents who complained saying that I was hard and school was to be fun. School is to be work and the results are what give success and satisfaction.

    For many years I have been doing many of the same things at the church and find that today there is the crowd who says I require too much in a Bible study and complain saying that is what they use in seminaries. Then I remind them that the books I use are for people who have a reading level of those in high school. The lazy find excuses and those who want to learn also want to be challenged and grow.
     
  13. gb93433

    gb93433
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    I sure wouldn't want a wife who is lazy and does nothing. My wife is highly motivated and gives to others. I am highly encouraged and challenged by how she lives and helps others. Where she works she has earned the right to be heard and people listen because she is an encourager and does her job well.

    30 years so far and it keeps getting better.
     
  14. Jkdbuck76

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    The best teachers I had in school worked our tails off. I didn't like it at the time, but looking back I'm thankful they did. Keep on doing the demanding Bible studies. People seem to forget that being a disciple requires discipline.
     
  15. preacher4truth

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    I will concentrate on this portion here. Of course they've had a shallow experience of faith. The church they went to was shallow in faith.

    After being in IFB churches for years, there is certainly a shallowness in preaching Biblical truth. This is one of several reasons I do not belong to an IFB church, being formerly BBFI.

    I know some will balk at this, and rush in to defend themselves as great expositors of truth, and preaching at such a theological height that how dare someone make this remark, and that this is not the case in IFB churches.

    Baloney.

    It's time the Baptist churches (actually preachers) wake up and stop their silly reactionary knee-jerk topical sermons on issues and start preaching the Bible.

    But wait, if a person actually sticks to the Word during the entire sermon instead of going off in a huff and spitting tirade about an issue (to garner amens, being the servant of men, not Christ) he may not be as popular and as noted a speaker. In reality, he'd have to know what he is talking about Scripturally for once, and actually truly study out the text at hand.

    Unfortunatley instead of being in the Word totally, and all points coming from "Thus saith the Lord" the preachers are taking a text as a platform and dive into a tantrum, angrily, over something. Many others simply hover around it, and this is telltale that they don't truly understand the text at hand. Again, typically, this is to garner "amens!" How dare we really stick to the Word of God and bore people when in fact we are up there to perform and get our grade in how many "amens" we get? Then the next sermon may well be against "churches that perform a show" which makes the preachers who preach such just as guilty themselves.

    Sheep need fed, and the Word of God is that food. They're just not getting much of it.

    Another factor? I'd dare say that a lot of these kids recited a sinners prayer alongside an easy-believism preacher, who taught them that "...going to heaven is as easy as sitting on a chair, say this prayer, and you're on your way!" Well amen! Not. To that I also say baloney. That is untrue and is demonic in nature to believe such fallacy.

    Jesus never came nor preached nor stated "Do you know 100% for sure if you died to day you'd go to heaven? Well, say this prayer." He came to save people from their sins. Too many people are out there picking green fruit thinking their methods to get someone to say this prayer secures an eternal soul into heaven.

    Instead, that person must be drawn to God, must not be forced to understand why he must be saved by a person at the altar, but will already know he or she is lost, because the Spirit has done His work in them, and then they will show their faith in the work of Christ in all genuine belief, and will be saved before they've ever quoted some lame model prayer on the back of a tract.

    Now, I know some and many of us said this prayer, but were truly saved before we practiced this unfortunate protocol.

    Kids are leaving church because the theology they've been taught (shallow theology) left something wanting: truth. They're dissapointed in the theology they've been fed because the preacher didn't really study. Face facts.

    They've also been leaving, having never been a part of the church anyhow, because they weren't regenerated, they just recited a prayer, and the preacher (or an "altar worker") promised them heaven and are still lost in their sins.

    This promising heaven focusing on "would you like to go to heaven?" is false teaching, and is not the Gospel and preachers should be ashamed of this. It's manipulative nonsense, and most people I've asked that are "saved" can't even tell what the Gospel is at all. Please show me in Scripture where the Gospel was preached and they asked "Would you like to know 100% for certain if you died today you'd go to heaven?" And then led them to recite a prayer. And to top it off told them and assured them they are now going to heaven.

    Pfffft.
     
    #15 preacher4truth, Nov 1, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 1, 2011
  16. govteach51

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    DING! DING DING!!! We have a winner...There is no studying going on....They are not prepared...It makes me wonder what is being taught in bible college and seminary?
     
  17. preacher4truth

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    Amen and thanks.

    Let me tell you what I was taught in college: Not much.

    Since this time I've questioned everything and looked further into much of it. I left extremely disappointed in the lack of depth of study, rather, that it was superficial and erroneous on many counts. It also avoided many theologies, and teachings within the Scriptures. Don't dare ask them why, you'll get the "How dare you" treatment and will be despised and mocked.

    My dissapointment over this theology, both within the college and within the churches, and their rudimentary, shallow, pathetic, and shamefully lax view of God Himself, and the short matter-of-fact quips and over simplified answers, and/or tucking tail and running from "meat" of the Word drove me away from the IFB. No one had answers. They were too busy polishing their personalities, preparing their sentences about nothing to garner amens, concerning themselves with how people perceived them and graded their message was of utmost importance, and the primping of ones self at what place they must be in compared to the other "big" preachers.


    One thing I was certainly taught was politics in college. If you were a likeable personality, men worshipped you, recommended you, not taking ones depth of truth, theology, into consideration. They hold "mens persons in admiration." It was like a High School popularity contest.

    Simply because one teaches in a Bible College does not mean that person is qualified to do so. Sometimes it means they are on furlough. Simply because one is titled "pastor" doesn't mean they're preaching the Word, or truth, anymore than just because they opened a Bible on the pulpit means what they are saying comes from that Bible.

    Most of my theology classes centered the basis and points for the different theologies on proof-texts. Several of us looked up some of these passages only to find they had nothing to do with the subject at hand. We questioned the professor. The answer back was almost a threat of "How dare we challenge him! After all his name is "so and so!" Dare I say, these teaching in Bible college should be the cream of the crop?

    Are they?

    You've seen it. You've been to a church, or wherever, and the message the preacher preached you know took no study, it was ad-lib. This isn't simply once in a while, this is status-quo Sunday after Sunday after Sunday. It's really really sad. What is even more sad is they will defend themselves "touch not Gods annointed!" I mean, no one can tell them a thing. After all, they're a "big" preacher.

    Ergun Canter anyone? He was a likeable personality, won his position while lying about his own testimony. It's a popularity gig.

    Let's face it, people are smart enough to see through this nonsense, they want more, and they want real Bible and real theology, not a text and a tantrum. No wonder these people leave churches.

    This easy believism "say a prayer and you will go to heaven" heresy needs to stop and preachers need to get real about God. They look like some snake oil salesman and charlatan and people frankly have no respect for slothfulness, for ill-prepared "sermons" and candy-coated sugary sweet simple as pie nonsense. And this is exactly how they paint God with their theology, and people are sickened and dissatisfied with this over-simplified nonsense, and this is NOT representative of the God of the Scriptures.

    To top it off, the ones doing this demand respect, look for respect, look and shame those they feel don't respect them "dont' touch Gods annointed" and look at themselves as some "hot shot" preacher never to be questioned. They've not died to and of themselves.

    To that I also say "Pffffffft."
     
    #17 preacher4truth, Nov 1, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 1, 2011
  18. Old Union Brother

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    Greetings I haven’t posted in a while, I see truth being spoken on this thread. I have found that all too often the so called “big” preachers lean on the creature rather than the creator. Like P4T said it seems as it has become a popularity contest. I believe that many have forgotten what is written in the scriptures:
    I’m not in it to please man but to please God. Many of today’s preachers should go and read the charge that was given to Timothy to preach the word. From my ordination the charge that the old brother gave me was “Preach the Word, Preach the Word, and Preach the Word”. If we would do this then maybe we would be drawing people to our churches
     
  19. govteach51

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    Amen and Amen! ANOTHER good post!:thumbs:
     

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